Texting and Driving Laws

Twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or send text messages while driving, according to a study by the National Safety Council.  The vast majority of those accidents, 1.4 million annually, are caused by cellphone conversations, and 200,000 are blamed on text messaging, according to the report by the National Safety Council.  Distraction is deadly.  Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that crashes attributed to distracted driving killed 3,092 people last year.

In 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made the decision to aggressively call for all 50 states to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices for all drivers.  Not all states have set in to place these laws.

Current Cell Phone and Texting Laws

Alabama’s current law regarding cell phone use while driving primarily effects young student drivers.  Under Alabama law, a police officer can issue a ticket to young drivers age 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months who use handheld cell phones while driving for talking or texting, without the driver committing another traffic offense.

Currently there is no hand-held or texting ban in the state of Alabama.  Although there are no laws specifically against doing these activities while driving, a distracted driver is held liable when his or her carelessness or recklessness causes an accident.

Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 35 states and the District of Columbia.  In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting while driving in 7 states (Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia) and school bus drivers are banned from text messaging in 3 states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas).

Injuries

Texting and driving causes thousands of accidents each year.  Distracted drivers negligence can result in catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries and paralysis, burns and wrongful death.

Despite the negligence of distracted drivers, their insurance companies strive to settle your claim for as little as possible, gathering any evidence possible that may reduce their liability.  The experienced Alabama attorneys at the law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC., understand the tricks insurance companies use and with the help of accident reconstruction specialists, health care professionals and other experts can prove fault against the negligent party.

The public is becoming more and more aware of the dangers of texting while driving, due to safety studies and highly publicized distracted driver accidents.  The importance of cell phone use after a car accident is that cell phone use is recognized as a form of diminished capacity.  Similar to the rights of victims of car accidents caused by drunk drivers, victims of distracted driver accidents may have the right to seek punitive damages from the responsible driver.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the car accident attorneys at the law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC., have extensive experience with the unique nature of these types of accidents.  We are available to represent injury victims and families of fatal accident victims in legal action to obtain compensation for economic and non-economic damages, as well as punitive damages when allowable by law.

With over 30 years of combined litigation experience, the seasoned accident lawyers at our law firm have helped clients in dire need recover the compensation they need after suffering a tragic accident.  No case is too big and no case is too small for our expert injury lawyers to pursue.  Our top attorneys represent each and every client with the utmost respect, compassion, and employ the thorough legal expertise needed to make their case a success.

Using Accident Reconstruction Specialists

In some cases we will consult with accident reconstruction specialists to who will compile data from report findings and construct diagrams as well as animations relating to the accident. These experts form their own conclusions and testimony pertaining to the accident. When this is needed in a case we only trust the best since a reliable animation must be based on physical evidence and calculations specific to the case as well as abide by the laws of physics. These animations will be used to demonstrate to the court in a visual manner the underlying calculations made by our experts.

If you wish to speak to us directly, feel free to call one of our three branches. Birmingham Office 205.933.9500, Huntsville Office 256.536.8010 or our Montgomery Office 334.284.0014. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.